Wednesday, 6/15/11 - Ever since Pete from GB3, a very proud Corvette owner, told me about the Corvette Museum I have wanted to see it. I once went on a Corvette rally to Stockton with my dear, late friend Eva and of course Old Rog, of my retiree group has had a Corvette forever (currently a 1961) and taken me many places.....a favorite Humphrey Station for lunch!
I have all the particulars, first we will do the GM Corvette Assembly Plant www.bowlinggreenassemblyplant.com tour which runs Monday through Thursday, 4 times a day....we pick 11:30 am. Of course we would never be late so we arrive at 10 am to try and buy tickets.....because NO way will we NOT be on a tour. The rules are long, only closed toe shoes, NO camera's, cellphones, purses, backpacks...nothing. So when I went into buy tickets, I take my camera and get some good pictures of the outside of plant, the entrance that has great displays & signage. We are to early and return at 11 am, buy our tickets....$7.00 ea & then watch a movie produced by the Speed Channel and National Geographic about Corvettes.
We are a group of about 20 people and had a darling girl who is nursing student at a local college. This is her second year and she is great. The plant is so interesting, we are walking, single file along a green corridor right on the plant floor and watching the assembly of Corvettes. We stop at several points so she can explain what is going on....one of the most interesting was we saw the LAST 2011 Corvette being made and right behind is was the FIRST 2012. Our group asked if we could stay long enough to see the 2012 body & chassis put together....and then said yes....very cool (note: our guide said there were very few changes, 2 new colors, between 2011 & 2012.) We learned about the brake system and how different color "calipers" are put on the cars. All Corvettes are pre-ordered & a customer can pick which color caliper they want on their car. We learned about the different models and what makes them different. I don't remember the base price car but the fully loaded was $120,000. When we arrived at the end of the line, one of the workers walked over to the tour and chose a lady (NOT ME) to sit in the car and start it up for the first time. How cool was that? Then another worker, his ONLY job, is to drive it off the assembly line and take it through the wind & water test areas. This tour was fantastic and honestly, anyone would enjoy this tour.
Gosh, this is going to be a very long blog (sorry) but now we head over to the National Corvette Museum www.corvettemuseum.org to have lunch in the Corvette Cafe and buy our tickets for the museum. As you enter the museum it is a very large entry that has the Corvette Cafe, the Museum entrance and the Museum Delivery Program. They had 3 Corvettes out there in the foyer with ropes around them and listed the person(s) arriving today to take delivery of their car. It seems they have museum delivery, buyer's tours and I met the couple that were taking delivery on a beautiful, blue, 2011 Grand Sport Corvette. They rented a car and drove down from Illinois to take delivery this day.....it was so exciting, you would thought it was MY car.
Actually in this foyer they have a Corvette that you can get in and take a picture which of course Will and I did. However, getting Will out was a real project but it's a great picture. Speaking of pictures I must have taken a million throughout the museum tour. Unfortunately, I don't download them but just have them to look thru for memories. We then headed for the museum and the place was amazing. The history of the Corvette, the cars....oh they had Corvettes everywhere. The only disappointment was Wills son, Eric wanted a picture of a 1968 but all they had for that year was 1968 experimental model. Will's favorite was the first one, 1953 white Corvette. When they were going to build a Corvette library & archives, this person said he would donate his 1953 white, absolutely perfect Corvette IF they would build a museum. They did, and he did plus they also have a Corvette library & archives there. As we left the museum the standard, "let us take your picture" and we said ok but made a pact, no more buying pictures. I wish I could tell you I was strong....but when we got to the picture stand they had us seated in the 1953 white Corvette......I couldn't resist and Will didn't argue....but that's the last one. We had a fabulous day and both of us loved the tour and museum. We HAD to make a WalMart run before going home, which we did and then head home, very happy but dead tired. Much love to family and friends.